15 Year old Me Discusses the Symbolism of Moths During 2003 Iraq War


So I was looking through my old high school essays and found this paper I wrote when I was 15 adressing the idea of Moth symbolism on TV during the Iraq War (Vigilante Citizen analyzing Lady Gaga’s Illuminati Butterfly Symbolism?)

Zachary Williams

Period 5 June 09 2003

250 word respones

Epiphany Paper

1.         Being trapped in a box of intellectual conformity for most of my intellectual life, I had only surprised myself on few occasions.  The few times I did come out of the cave to see the broad spectrum of ideas and ideology were during this year.  Shortly after American armed forces entered into the country of Iraq, I remember seeing the view of a camera positioned on a rooftop in Baghdad, Iraq.  I remember seeing around 5 moths all swarming the camera.  I remember the swarm getting a bit larger and then the news channel I was watching at the time cut to something else, most likely because of the moth’s interference.  I then quickly had an idea, and it was not yet an epiphany until I did a little research.  I quickly looked up the word “moth” as a symbol.  I quickly found a link that took me to a page of various cultures symbolic meanings of moths.  I found a very interesting list that contained such symbols such as Flight, Freedom, Release of creativity, bringer of news, divine inspiration, nervousness, change or inconsistency, goals beyond reach, foolishness, speed, day and night, self destruction, and finally insanity.  When I saw this list, I immediately knew how close these symbols tied in with the “war” that was going on at the time.  This extreme metaphysical symbolism would turn any skeptic of symbolism into a believer if this happened to them.  The few seconds the moths had appeared on camera was un-notable for most,  it was my very own epiphany.  Because symbolism is so important, and it actually does exist beyond literature, our work should be kept on the walls so that we can see the symbolism it as well.  The stark walls and empty floors of our artwork should be decorated with the interior design of creation itself.

2.         The study of literature is essential to understanding expressions of ideas of permanent or universal interest and theme.  Because literature exists everywhere, it must be read as the universal language of mankind.  To utilize such a tool means communicating beyond language to all parts of the world where mankind resides.  Whether it is a rite of passage, or a search for oneself, literature binds everything and everyone to specific boundaries if they can accept it.  Literature is crucial to understanding ourselves as a species.  Without it, we would be stuck in a box, or a cave, with no inclination of an outside world.  At least with literature, you can see that there is a hidden truth, and the search for it must continue.  Along the way, themes, symbols and archetypes are riddles along the path and it is up to oneself to put together the puzzle.  And in order to put together a puzzle, you must first find the pieces.  This is why it is also just as important to gain knowledge of about archetypes and symbolism, because without them, there would be no literature.  Truth is the essential key and without it we cannot live in freedom, and without it we cannot live with any hope at all.

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